Spring 2019: “Fried Chicken Paradise” Sneak Peek!

Fried Chicken Paradise
Fried chicken has been famous in Crawford County for decades. Here’s why.

Photo courtesy of Chicken Annie’s Original

In the wee hours of a cold January morning, Donna Lipoglav stood over a fryer at Chicken Annie’s, cooking up some – you guessed it – chicken. A KOAM/Fox14 anchor was on his way to visit Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, and he wanted to bring the governor something that epitomized Southeast Kansas.

Fried chicken it was.

“He called, and I got here at 7 in the morning and fried him some chicken,” Donna says. “It was pretty cool.”

After all, there’s not much that’s more legendary in Southeast Kansas than its tender, juicy, crispy-coated fried chicken. The delicious tradition began 85 years ago with Annie Pichler, Donna’s grandmother and Chicken Annie’s namesake, who began serving food out of her home north of Pittsburg after her coal-miner husband was injured at work. It didn’t take long for word to spread about her fried-chicken joint – and for it to be accompanied by several others in the county.

Together, the six famous chicken houses of Crawford County have been called one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine. Some have been written up in national publications and featured on cable TV. And to this day, they’re all serving fried chicken in their own way – each with an equally zealous following…

Want to keep reading about Crawford County’s fried-chicken tradition? Check out the spring issue of Southeast Kansas Living, out now! It includes this story in its entirety, plus so much more. Subscribe now, or contact us to find a newsstand near you.

Spring 2019: “Off the Beaten Path” Sneak Peek!

Off the Beaten Path
Bike culture grows as SEK promotes cycling

Photo courtesy of Randy Rasa

Randy Rasa has found a new hobby: dropping by the trailhead for the Lehigh Portland Trails just to peek at the cars in the parking lot.

Their license plates hail from all over – from every county in the area and from surrounding states. Think Missouri, Texas and California. Their diversity, Randy says, is indicative of a trend happening in Allen County. A surging bike culture is taking root, thanks to several first-class trails, a new bike shop and a novel bike share programB.

And it’s not just Allen County. There are communities of cyclists all across Southeast Kansas, and they’re coming together more often these days. PedalSEK is convening area cyclists for 12 rides in 12 months in 12 Southeast Kansas counties, and the new ABC Trails project is mapping out a tri-county trail system connecting Allen, Bourbon and Crawford counties.

“Cycling – and trails in general – have grown so much in these areas,” says Lisse Regehr, deputy director of outreach and advocacy for Thrive Allen County, the nonprofit responsible for Iola’s bike share program and several trails. “This is an opportune time to take advantage of that…”

 

Want to keep reading about bicycling in Southeast Kansas? Check out the spring issue of Southeast Kansas Living, out now! It includes this story in its entirety, plus so much more. Subscribe now, or contact us to find a newsstand near you.